Monday, January 7, 2013

One Year in One Minute

 Last January I had an idea. What if I were to record just one frame from my weather webcam each day? I'd save a year's worth and compile them into a video. So that the year played back in one minute, I'd need to play the frames at a rate of six per second (366 / 6 = 61 seconds). Click here for the result.

January 3, 2013

 Here's an example frame. Each day at 9:15 a.m., I'd grab a single frame. It's didn't matter what the weather was, whether the window was covered in fog, plastered with snow or the sun was shining brightly. At first I recorded the frames manually, numbering each like this: 0101 was January 1, 2012; 1301 was January 1, 2013. I began the project on January 8, 2012 and finished it today (January 7, 2013).

 Because I chose the frame rate to force the year to fit into a minute, individual frames flash by fairly quickly. For that reason, I'm providing contact sheets for each month and with every day labeled. If you see a frame speed by that you'd like to examine more closely, you can find it here.

 I used a D-Link DCS-930L WiFi webcam. The resolution is only 640x480 but that's enough to enjoy the show. The camera is set up in a second floor window facing roughly northwest. The camera is available 24 hours/day (though if there's no light you'll see a black frame) by clicking here. I operate the camera 1.7 miles east of Farmersville, Ohio, in Jackson Township.

 A current view and archived video are available via The Weather Underground by clicking here.

 Most interesting to me is watching the changing angle of the sun as the year unfolds. Also, each season's weather is graphically shown. The grass can be seen greening in the spring and turning a dry brown in the summer (we had a serious drought). The trees leaf out, turn a healthy green and autumn's colors come and the leaves drop. Note distant redbuds showing off their purple flowers in the spring. The shed near the center of the picture was painted late in the summer so you can watch it turns a vivid white.

 Early in the year I automated the process of grabbing the day's frames. I used NirSoft's SeqDownload. Initially I chose 9:15 a.m. for each frame (because I figured I could be home at the time) but once automated it no longer mattered. Noon might have been a better choice.To create the video I used NDW's JCPVideo. And to convert the video from the native AVI format to the tighter WMV I used WinX's AVI to WMV. All the software was free.

 Here then are the contact sheets by month:

January - 2012

February - 2012

March - 2012

April 2012

May - 2012

June - 2012

July - 2012

August - 2012

September - 2012

October - 2012

November - 2012

December - 2012

January - 2013

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